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The Triple Crown

Both myself and Maxi Kniewasser were lucky enough to complete the Triple Crown (Stikine, Alsek, Susitna) this fall. Early in the season Maxi mentioned how keen he was to paddle the Alsek and having heard the stories from Daz Clarkson it sounded like an awesome trip. For myself I had been thinking about the Stikine for a while and was really keen to train hard and give it a go and Maxi said he was up for round number 2. So there it is, the original plan thrown out there, all we had to do was train super hard and earn enough cash to make it happen.

It turned out that getting out every day and training hard in the Whistler area is not too difficult, within a 1 hour radius there are around 10 world class sections and with a record snow pack the rivers were juicing all season.

Having spent the last 3 months working and kayaking in the Whistler/Squamish area of Canada the time had finally come to head up North. We packed the ultimate paddling machine (small ford focus) to the rafters and hit the road. Having been watching the online gauges very closely for the Stikine we decided it was now or never.

The Stikine

For this river we joined up with team America (Ben, Cody and Taylor) and Daz Clarkson, who managed to get himself a world record, Wales to the Stikine put on in 36 hours. This river really is incredible in every sense of the word. It offers so much more than simply world class white water, it’s the whole feel of the place, so intimidating yet so beautiful. For me this was a huge mental challenge, this river is globally recognised as a huge water, class 5 test piece and you soon see why. Looking down at Entry Falls the only phrase that can sum up the feeling is ‘ball shrinkage’, it is very intimidating but such fun as well. All in all the entire trip was incredible with only one short period of carnage. There is a hole just before The Wall on day 2 that seems to dish out more than any, yet remains un-named, apparently it was the same hole which Si Tapley and Cory Boux got worked in and Ricky swam out of. Well let’s just say I’d rather not put the words deck implosion and the Stikine in the same sentence. Turned out all good in the end, I was back in my boat within about 50 meters.

Here are a few photos of the trip

The crew at the put in

Ric Wasson's



Daz Tanzillla slot


After the Stikine it turned out we had 6 days before the put on date for the Alsek. So during the celebratory meal at mama Z’s we started throwing some ideas around for what we could squeeze in, so naturally we decided to head to the Susitna just another 24 hours further north.

The Susitna

For the Susitna it was just me and Maxi. We flew in to this river with the local float plane company in Talkeetna. It cost us 350 bucks each for the flight which included a longer scenic route over Denali, which is totally worth it, absolutely stunning. The plane lands on a small lake just 30 minutes walk from the river above Devils canyon, on river left. Devils canyon is a full day run. The white water is great, and brings a new definition to truck sized holes.

Unfortunately there aren’t too many photos on the river as there was only the two of us paddling it, but here’s a few.






The Alsek

For this trip we joined up with two Alaskans (Xavier and Johno). The biggest challenge of this trip was the weather, it turned out the day we were putting on was the day the biggest weather system I have ever seen was pushing up straight from the Gulf of Mexico. This caused a major deliberation between us all, as the potential for an epic had just massively increased. In the end, instead of aborting, we just decided to pack heavy, bring more food, clothes, stoves and fuel. The day we put on, around 8 inches of snow fell.

Luckily we got a weather break for Lowell glacier which meant we got some great views.

We made it to Turnback canyon day 4 which luckily was the only other weather break, except for the odd 70 mile an hour gusts! This section of white water in awesome. The rapid which  truly stands out is named Hare. Having missed the early take out spot to allow you to scout properly, we were left with this micro eddy and small ledge to peer at this 200 meter long, now must run rapid.

All the camp spots we chose along this section were beautiful. All in all, weather included, this trip was an incredible unforgettable experience.

Here a few photos of the trip.






Off to the Zam now!

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